2 new apartment complexes under construction

Construction picking up in Jacksonville, could be sign of improving economy

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - Two new Jacksonville apartment complexes are the first to begin construction in three years, and many hope this is a sign of an improving economy.

After several slow years, apartment construction is picking up in Jacksonville.

The Cabana Club Apartments on the Southside is the newest complex of only two built in Jacksonville since 2009.

Apartment complexes have gone through the same growing pains single-family construction went through over the past few years. A very stagnant market, but things are looking up.

"The new construction market is booming right now, Owner of Roundtable Realty Howard Flashcen said. "The builders that have been able to stay in place are starting to expand and buy land and build homes and new prices, affordability, is sky high. Interest rates have never been lower so those that can afford to buy, it's a great time to buy and those that need to rent have options as well."

The Cabana Club Apartments off Baymeadows Road and I-295 is proof.

The complex just opened with 252 units.

"Three years ago, lending was very tough, very tough," said Abe Fort, Director of Development at Fort Family Investments. "It's loosened up for multi family as you've seen with new construction going on."

The same developers are about to break ground on a second complex just across the street.

A 300-unit complex called Hacienda. They say there's a hot rental market in Jacksonville.

"We're seeing overall, vacancy is very low," Director of Property Management for Fort Family Investments Jody Mayor said. "Rents are increasing over all as well, so in Jacksonville, it's terrific."

If the demand is there, the supply won't be far behind.

Many people lost their homes during the recession due to foreclosures or short sales. Now unable to get a mortgage, they have to rent.

"In North Florida, it tells us that things have definitely bottomed and are improving," Flashcen said. "Statistics say that month over month, quarter over quarter, we're having price increases in housing in Jacksonville,so that's outstanding. So I think it at least says in North Florida we're seeing a recover in place. It's not for everyone. Some people aren't experiencing it."

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